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Hedgehog Waiting
By PaBurke
Summary/Challenge: Dean went to Hell and was hauled out of Perdition only to be turned into a 4/5-year-old version of himself. This complicates the plans of both Heaven and Hell.
Reminder: Sam. Is. An. Addict. Going. Through. Withdrawal.
Disclaimer: So not mine
Rating: teen-ish, language, recovering from any addiction is ugly, mention of suicide



“You all are dealing with this too well,” Bobby mentioned to the junk yard visitors. They had just witnessed an angel destroying a demon and then disappear with Sam. Though frightened, they weren’t in shock.

Sensei Okada shrugged. “The spiritual does not hide from those who look.”

Charli wasn’t so vague. “Demons attacked our village and an angel led us to Uncle.”

Joel’s mother, Martha, looked surprised at the revelation. “An angel led us away from my husband. Sometimes I think I imagined it all,” she admitted.

Castiel reappeared. “Nisteal is a guard, efficient and obedient. She directed both families to safety.” The pronouncement sounded like a compliment.

“Nisteal, huh?” Bobby memorized the name. He would check it out as soon as possible.

“Where’d you put Sam?” Dean sniffled and hiccupped through the question. He barely stopped crying long enough to ask the angel. He was clutching Bobby and not about to let go. Bobby wasn’t inclined to release the child either. He still couldn’t believe that Sam brought Dean’s tormentor directly to the junk yard. Damn idjit.


“Downstairs?” Martha echoed. “You mean down the stairs or Downstairs Downstairs?”

Castiel looked confused and Dean translated. “Castiel put Sam in the safe room.”

Bobby jerked. “He can get out. It’s got a one-way…!”

The angel interrupted. “I reversed the mechanism as we discussed, Dean.”

Dean sighed. “Good.”

“You will not remain on the premises,” Castiel said.

Dean –amazingly enough- did not argue. “You’ll take good care of Sammy?” He asked Bobby. “He’s always extra crabby when he’s sick.”

Sammy was going to be dangerous and cruel and probably homicidal. Bobby, in his heart, didn’t want anything to do with Sam’s withdrawal. The idjit had brought Dean’s tormentor from hell to their little haven. Bobby was shaking with fury and knew he had to stop. Right now, Dean was willing to leave the junk yard. Both Charli’s and Joel’s house were warded against the supernatural and currently were safer than the house. He’d only leave if he was assured that someone would take care of Sammy. The child was going to have nightmares straight from the Pit of Hell and he still was thinking of Sammy first. Bobby had to think of Dean first.

“I’ll take care of Sam,” he promised.

Dean nodded, wiggled down and ran inside to gather a bag. He was out in moments. He wrapped his arms around Bobby’s knees. “Thank you.” He offered up the hedgehog. “You can give this to Sammy later.”

Bobby shook his head no. “How’bout you keep it until you’re sleepin’ good at Ms. Martha’s house and then I’ll give it to Sam.”

Dean debated but finally agreed. He tucked the stuffed animal under one arm and looked to Martha for direction.

“It’s safe to leave?” she asked.

“I believe so,” Castiel intoned. “I and Nisteal will guard.”


Hedgehog Recovery


Sam had no clue as to how much time had passed. It had to be several weeks. The tiny pinpricks of light stabbed his eyes. He wasn’t tired but he was feigning sleep. He hadn’t seen another being for ages. Sam would welcome even Castiel for a change in scenery. Okay, maybe not Castiel but just about any other person or thing. Sam refused to consider his actions if a demon managed to find him. Would Sam beg for blood? Or kill it? If he killed it, would he then drink its blood? Would he be able to simply exorcise it? Had Alastair been telling the truth about the theatrics? Demons lie but they tell the truth when it is more painful.

His fingertips traced the knots and weave of the stuffed hedgehog. Over and over. It was a repetition that calmed Sam. That… calmed Sam too well. He opened his eyes to truly look at the yarn and spotted enchoen runes. Now he followed the yarn from the beginning to the end. The runes encouraged clear thinking and calm dreams and more. Sam was impressed with the workmanship.

Sam was still trying to spot all of the runes when Bobby entered the prison cell with lunch. “Did you see this?” Sam asked as he shoved the stuffed animal in Bobby’s face.

Bobby jerked back, wary of Sam’s intentions. “That’s your brother’s stuffed hedgehog. He sleeps with it every night. What’s to see?”

“Why do I have it if he likes sleeping with it at night?”

Bobby’s look was 100% ‘idjit’ and yeah, Sam earned that one.

“Give it back,” Sam demanded. “He needs it more than me.”

“It’s just a stuffed animal. Dean feels better if you have it.”

Sam huffed. “It’s not just a stuffed animal. Look at it.” He thrust the yarn hedgehog at Bobby again. “Look at it.”

Bobby set the food tray aside, accepted the hedgehog and put himself by the door. He was suspicious of Sam and for good reason. He glanced down at his hands for a second here and a second there, constantly tracking where Sam was in the room. Part of Sam was annoyed at being treated like an enemy but a greater part of him wanted to force Bobby to look down and see.

“Son of a…” Bobby’s voice trailed off, probably a habit developed since de-aged Dean had come to live with him. For the first time, the thought didn’t make anger roll in Sam’s chest. “There’re runes crocheted in.”

Sam rolled his eyes. That’s what he’d been saying. “For calm nights and clear thinking and some I can’t identify.”

“True sight,” Bobby poked at the rune as he translated it. “I’m going to have to look the others up.”

“So you’ll take it back to Dean,” Sam said.

Bobby laughed at him. “Hell, no. You definitely still need this more than him. I wonder if he knows.”

“It’s Dean. Of course, he knows.”

“He forgot a lot,” Bobby told him. “There’s been a bit that he had to relearn. I don’t know if he studied any enchoen.”

Sam wavered. “I want Dean to have it back.”

“Not happening.” Bobby threw the hedgehog into the far corner and was out the door before Sam could retrieve it. Sam picked up the animal and rolled it in his hands over and over. He read the runes he knew and tried to guess the ones he didn’t. He fell asleep mulling over the mystery.

And yes, he slept like a baby.


Hedgehog Discovery


Bobby spent the afternoon in his library. He found some of the runes from that hedgehog: truth, hope and peace. Part of him was sad that he hadn’t already learned it, but he rarely focused on the positives. Maybe there was a lesson in there.

The house was too quiet without Dean running around, but this quiet was preferable to Sam shaking the walls with his demon voice. Sam had seemed much improved. Bobby was surprised at the change. He had been expecting a relapse that would prompt Castiel to smite him. Still, Sam didn’t have a humble bone in his body and he hadn’t apologized for being an ass for so long, but Sam Winchester was thinking outside of himself.

Dean might just get his little brother back.


Bobby drove over to Martha’s with a couple of books and bread from the bakery in town. Martha insisted on feeding everyone, but Bobby hated to stress the finances of the single mother. The loaf of cheesy Italian would work for dinner and the bag of bagels would feed everyone tomorrow morning.

Dean met him at the door with a huge hug. Once he was assured that Bobby was unharmed, he started asking about his brother. Bobby reported dutifully and then asked Dean about his stuffed hedgehog.

“Different?” Dean repeated the question.

Bobby narrowed his eyes. Dean couldn’t lie to him, not in this form. “So you know about the runes.”

“It’s not like they’re hiding.”

“It’s not like they’re flashing neon either,” Bobby snapped. “How long have you known?”

Dean shrugged. “Since I picked it out of the bag of toys at the group home.” He grinned, a bit mischievous. “I hid all of the regular stuffed toys so that kids would only have special ones to choose. How long have you known?”

“Since this afternoon. Your brother pointed them out to me.”

“Sammy noticed?” Dean instantly brightened.

“He noticed all right. He wanted to return it to you.”

“But you won’t let him,” Dean was sure of Bobby.

Bobby agreed, “I made him keep it.”




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
YES! LOVE IT!! Thank you!!!
Jan. 3rd, 2014 10:11 am (UTC)
You are welcome. You didn't ask for a prompt but this seems to be your preferred 'verse, so I worked on it with you in mind. And low and behold, there might be an end in sight!
Dec. 22nd, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
Love this 'verse and so glad to see more! Thank-you!
Jan. 3rd, 2014 10:13 am (UTC)
I'm very glad the pint-sized angst is enjoyed. It's been a harder story to write than expected.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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